Archive for mike hampton

You Mean the Rockies Can Score Twelve Runs in One Game?

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by beckeesh

Rockies 12, Astros 1

I was keeping score for this one.  I stopped keeping track of RBIs after Stewart got to 5, so let’s just start there.

Even after his 2 HR night, Stewart’s avg for the season sits at a meagre .211.  He’s batting eighth in the order.  His first home run came off of Paulino.  The grand slam was off of Tim Byrdak.  Most of the runs were charged to Paulino, which helps keep Byrdak’s ERA at a respectable 3.46 even though he’s given up 3 HR in just 13 innings this season. Yikes!

I’m willing to let both home runs go, and say that Stewart was due and Byrdak is not Byrdak so far this season.

Let’s look at the other dingers.

Brad Hawpe hit one out in the 6th, off of Russ Ortiz.  He’s now 6 for 13 off of Ortiz, with an OPS of 1.577, and he’s having a good season in general.

I’m willing to call Hawpe a good hitter who likes facing the reliever that Cooper put in there, and let this one go.

Then there’s Helton’s third inning home run off Paulino.  I don’t know if Paulino knows this, but Todd Helton has been around a little.  You can’t serve him up a fast ball like that and expect him not to hit it.  The count was 1-1 and Paulino threw it right over the plate.

So, I won’t let that one go.  But good for Todd Helton.

As for the Astros offensively, I’d say the key to the game was Kazuo Matsui.  He had an opportunity to get us on the board in the 5th, when he came to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs.  He grounded out to the pitcher.  Again in the 7th he came up with two outs, bases were loaded.  Again back to the pitcher.   Luckily, Kaz is 4 for 16 against tonight’s Colorado starter, Marquis, so he’s got decent chances of hitting one past the infield.

Speaking of tonight, I hope Kaz, Mike Hampton, and the Astros can get something going.  I for one would like to see less of the back of Michael Bourn’s head.

New-han’s On Deck, or, Predictions Schmictions

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by Astropolithecus

Quick check in on our beloved and terrifyingly inconsistent disAstros.

I have not blogged in a bit, mostly because I was intently watching my NCAA Tigers go all the way to the Sweet 16, only to be dismantled by Missouri. And Now I’m watching Kentucky try to woo Memphis’ future away.

ANYhoo, this is not a Memphis blog, though Calipari could learn from the loyalty of Bagwell, Biggio, and Berkman.

This is an Astro blog, and though hope springs eternal yada yada, No one in baseball has the slightest respect for the Astros’ chances to even compete in the NL Central. Despite our scrappy pedigree, even the Reds are consistently picked ahead of us, though they have proven nothing more than the Stros as far as I’m concerned.  

I state this now. Listen oh predicting and Astro loving world.  A very slow start, or more than 3 early injuries, and we can kiss the Astros’ season goodbye, but even a medium start, and I will guarantee you the Astros hang around for postseason contention.  Our pitching staff, though the weak point of the team, isn’t as horrifying as everyone predicts.  I respect Moehler, Hampton is solid if healthy, and Wandy could easily have his best year this year, put it all together, so to speak. 

How many times has a team’s pitching staff proven saltier and more durable than anyone expected.  There are at least two story lines like that EVERY YEAR in Major League Baseball. 

And don’t get me started on how disrespected our hitters are, at least as a group.  Now that we’ve got Pudge too, Our lineup is very solid. I’d take our club’s hitters over the Red’s any day of the week.  Berkman and Lee are blue chippers, and the only knock against Pence is that his sophomore season wasn’t spectacular. The only knock on Matsui is his health, which is a legitimate worry, but when he’s playing, baby, money all the way.  Remember the Rockies folks? Not that long ago.   And Tejada? Still one of the best hitting shortstops in the game. And he’ll have something to prove coming in.

I’d put our bullpen up against any in the majors.

So, there you go. All the predictors can BITE ME!

The 2009 Astros probably won’t win the division, but they will compete for the Wild Card.    

My only major concern now(besides injuries)?

                                                            Management.

After Cabeza’s research, and after reading about Newhan’s anger concerning Cooper’s handling of his release, I am worried about his leadership. I was a big supporter last year, and I think he is a gritty, cool guy, but he may not be a good leader with the Astros. Now, he may be, Newhan could just be blowing justifiable steam, but if the players don’t respect Cooper, we’ve got a problem.  Wade may not be liked all around, but I bet he’s got some respect from the boys.

If the players leave it out on the field, then the weird Wade and Cooper vibes will dissipate, but if not…

Of course Drayton McClane is a weirdo, and they’ve been fine under him for a number of years. 

A player, and soon, should make a statement of solidarity concerning Cooper. Please.

P.S. Concerning Wade, I’ll hear other arguments, but don’t bring up Chacon and how Wade handled that badly.  Shawn Chacon is an idiot.  Don’t attack your boss after you instigated an argument.  Don’t PHYSICALLY attack him anyway.

I repeat, I don’t care what Oswalt said, Chacon is a hot headed moron, who blew a chance at late career glory because he wanted to flex up against a sixty year old man who gave him a second chance to start. At least Caminiti waited till he was retired.

Astros win 4th straight!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , on March 24, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

I know it might seem like I relish in the Astros’ failures, but I swear I really don’t.  My love for the team is complicated.  I know I was posting more when the boys were losing, but SXSW and it’s aftermath of cold-like symptoms have kept me from sharing my delight about the recent victories.  I know the wins don’t count, but it’s good to see us put some runs on the board, even if we have very close to our starting line-up out on the field.  

The best part to me, however, has been the pitching.  Mike Hampton pitched five innings, allowing 3 runs, which might not sound great, but that’s a solid spring training outing.  Russ Ortiz continues to exceed expectations.  Three scoreless innings from Moehler, and scoreless frames from Brocail and Valverde are encouraging.  Jose Capellan had a rough outing, but it was only a matter of time.  Besides, according to Astros.com, he was pitching against… the Astros?

Astros against Astros

Good thing he didn't pitch well. Astros win!

I guess it did look like the ‘Stros had been beating themselves.  Now, though, Houston has five spring training victories.  That’s the same number as the Padres.  And hey, the Diamondbacks, Tigers, and Indians only have eight wins apiece.  Meanwhile, the Royals and Pirates each have 13 victories. All is well.

Here’s to New Beginnings

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , on February 14, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

Well, it’s about time for a new start, just ask Mike Hampton, Russ Ortiz and Danny Graves. This blog needs to get rolling. Where have we been? Berkmaniac? Beckeesh? Y’all out there? Because I think we could all use some positive thinking.

I need someone to find a way to convince me that Aaron Boone is worthy of a platoon split at third base, and Jason Michaels is a worthwhile backup corner outfielder. I want someone other than the Houston Chronicle to tell me that taking a chance on Mike Hampton’s health is a good idea. (By the way, I guess the organization forgave him for sleeping with Bagwell’s now-ex wife. Heck, those two guys were on the winter caravan together.) Or maybe someone can show me that Brandon Backe is gonna put it all together this year … on the mound, not at the plate.

The more I look at this roster of David Newhan, Tim Byrdak, Michael Bourne, and four AAA catchers (update: make that three AAA catchers), the more it feels like Berkman, Oswalt and Lee are the big names at a charity softball event. I feel for you guys. Baseball Prospectus says you’re gonna go 70-92. I can’t imagine it being that bad, but I also can’t see our pitchers missing many bats.

Well, at least it’s not the NFL or NBA. Hello again, good guys.